Sunday, May 24, 2009


For all my talk about responsible freedoms, sometimes I just can't help but think maybe humanity does need...managing.

We can't seem to find enough common ground to create a sustainable AND free society that doesn't pretty much destroy the natural world. We pretend that we have ended slavery when we have one massive group of people living with only the bare (if that) necessities in order to provide a constantly increasing selection of toys, trinkets and food-like and/or addictive substances to those of us doing the pretending. We kill members of our own species like no other species and we REALLY go to town in killing other species, directly or indirectly.

And instead of changing ourselves, we look to leaders to tell us what to do, to decide how we should fix the problem while we put our heads back in the sand of empty choice and/or religious fervor. We accept more and more restrictions to our right to responsible freedom, in the naive belief that our system has enough checks and balances to protect us. We ignore balance because it is just too difficult and complicated and we'd rather shop or watch American Idol.

I know it's not everyone. I meet some very reasonable people here in the blogosphere, and even once in awhile in the offline world. But most of the time...

Here's an example, albeit small and slightly self involved. Since I am not working right now I have been spending most days out at the farm, doing this and that. I take a back highway which turns into a gravel road for the last 5 miles or so. On this gravel road, at least half of the people I meet as oncoming traffic are driving almost as fast as they would on a highway. Pretty much every large vehicle operator, as in tractor trailer or garbage truck (and there are a LOT of these living next to a dump) or even large pickup/trailer, is driving ridiculously fast. What this means is that they are often flinging gravel along behind themselves. My windshield has taken so many hits since I have been going out there regularly, and I slow down significantly! And its just ignorance on the other person's part. I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't even dawn on them that going so fast leads to dragging rocks along behind.

It reminds me of the Alabama song "I'm In A Hurry".

"I'm in a hurry to get things done,
oh I rush and rush until life's no fun.
All I really gotta do is live and die,
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why."

And there's no real reason for them to go that fast. What is that 5 extra minutes going to get them, especially if going so fast leads to smashing into some animal trying to cross the road or something else? I just don't comprehend why this shit doesn't matter to so many people.

I can't imagine what it would be like going through life and not giving a damn how my actions affected other people or animals or things. I learned to consider what could be the result of my actions, and to avoid causing harm, and it's not like that leaves me frozen and unable to do anything at all.

Ah well, I'm sure I am mostly preaching to the choir here. Just keep living and bettering our examples I guess.

It's certainly not all bad. A stunning sunset tonight makes most frustrations forgettable, at least for a moment.

Peace and comfort to all.


Theresa said...

As a fellow citizen surrounded by gravel roads, I salute you! I try to extend compassion to those in the vehicles driving so fast, since I imagine they are harried and stressed, but some days I just want to scream and rail at their complete lack of consideration! Thank goodness for sunsets, and pretty birds.

linda said...

We don't have the gravel roads but we do have inconsiderate idiots in a hurry to make it to the stop light before you do so they cut you off.Its all about "Me first" or "me only". I am glad you got your beautiful sunset though. I wish there were more people similar to the ones I know online who are of like mind around in real life too.

SoapBoxTech said...

Hear hear, Theresa. It's funny, I really dislike some birds (magpies, pigeons, overpopulated garbage feeding seagulls), especially as babies, but I am very fond of others. The bald eagle was in our barnyard this evening, perched on the yard light post, feasting on a gull. Powerful.

linda: I often have that exact same wish. Oh to be able to build a community of such people.

linda said...

I agree, would love the community but what then do we do with the outside fools who still think what we build is their right to destroy in some way?
I'm not down on humanity in general but observation is leading me to come to the conclusion that some are so hopeless that they need to be controlled for their own good more than my own in actuality.

FRED said...

I believe th less intelligent human seem to need management in a selfish society like ours. However in an egalitarian, small scaled society, these less gifted people who be truly loved and cared for, so that their talents would bloom. Cooperative small scaled communities such as gatherer-hunters do not need "management", they thrive on respect.
Unfortunately respect is considered as a negative trait in a competitve society like ours. Competition exacerbates most negative features of human behavior: violence, revenge...